Supporting SEN pupils with Mathematics Mastery
Joining Mathematics Mastery
As a school we felt our current maths curriculum did not ensure continuity or opportunities for progression, with some classes repeating the same subject knowledge year on year. The school was looking for a way forward, where we could provide pupils with not only continuity and consistency within the maths curriculum, but also progression and challenge.
When the Mathematics Mastery programme was explored, it seemed to provide everything we were looking for and more, however it was still with some in trepidation that we decided to move forward with the programme. Our main concern, focussed on the programme being designed for a mainstream setting with lots of language and the need to teach in a structured way. Once we had adapted the programme and become confident with its content, these fears/concerns were unfounded.
Adaptations to programme
We knew the programme would need some adaptations for our children, we have a range of children with a vast array of needs. Some of our classes are high functioning ASD whilst other ASD classes are operating within the P3-P4 area, we also have a range of complex classes whose children can have a mirage of needs; therefore we knew we needed flexibility in the programme, not just in the school but also within our diverse classrooms. Mathematics Mastery have always been 100% supportive and open to discussion about how we moved forward with the programme.
We felt the core element of the programme and a non-negotiable aspect for our staff and pupils was the Talk Task. This is the one aspect which is taught in all of our classes regardless of level. We do adapt it where needed, to provide additional scaffold/structure to the language phrases, along with streamline some sentence stems, to remove unnecessary language. For more able classes we focussed on the key teaching areas, such as new learning, talk task & develop learning, delving into the independent activity where appropriate.
The impact the programme has had on our pupils, teachers and our own understanding of how best to teach maths has been exceptional. Over the course of last year, we compared the progress made in our MM’s classes against those still on the previous maths plan, the MM pupils made significantly more progress than those of their peers, especially in number & place value and calculations.
The programme has made a significant difference to our pupils’ mathematical capabilities. One such child is child A, who was a confident mathematician with numbers, but lacked the ability to express how he knew, or what process he had gone through to obtain the answer – he just knew. He can
now express his understanding with fluency, in fact he likes to explain everything! He also has a much greater depth of understanding, rather than the superficial recording of facts he had rote learnt.
Another pupil – pupil B, lacked any understanding of number bonds or how they can be used to, he also lacked understanding of place value and what the number meant, whilst the child still struggles to form whole sentences in a coherent fashion (ASD diagnosis), he can complete mathematical processes using key vocabulary in the star words, the adult will then structure the complete sentence for him.